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Metrorail strike is irresponsible - WC transport

The Western Cape Transport Department has labelled a possible strike in the passenger rail sector as...

Commuters wait for their train at Cape Town Station. Picture: Danya Philander/EWN

The Western Cape Transport Department has labelled a possible strike in the passenger rail sector as "irresponsible."

Transport union Satawu has called on its members in the commuter train sector to down tools from Monday.

Wage negotiations with Metrorail and its parent company, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), deadlocked this week.

The union is demanding a 16 percent pay hike, while the employer is offering eight percent.

“It is a mandate that is coming from our constituency that they are not intending to go back at any given moment for as long as the employer is unable to meet its demands,” said Satawu’s Tinzi Lubabalo.

Meanwhile, the provincial transport department’s Solly Malatsi said commuters will be significantly inconvenienced.

“It’s very unfortunate that Satawu has resorted to go that route. We were all crossing our fingers in the hope that it does not happen, despite our readiness for alternative transport," Malatsi said.